Summer is a great time to get outside, make some family memories and enjoy the sunshine! Our favorite summer activities include camping, going to the lake, playing games with friends and relaxing with a good book. We often need to bring along some gear on our summer adventures. Our Top Product Family Awards celebrate innovative products that enrich family life and fill a unique need or solve an important problem. These summer essentials include family games, natural sun protection, helpful hygiene basics, unique kids toys and innovative household add-ons.
Award Winning Family Games
Summer makes us think of hot weather, bright sunshine and fun with our favorite people. A warm summer night is perfect for a game of capture the flag. Families with kids of all ages will enjoy these award winning games and most importantly, playing together.
Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag Game
Summer is a great time to invite people over to play outdoor games! Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag takes this classic game to a new level, with glowing team bracelets, glowing jail markers and glowing “flag” orbs. Starlux Games Capture the Flag Redux is a glow in the dark version of the timeless game Capture the Flag. Players compete to sneak into their opponents’ territory and try to steal their flag. The game kit comes with 25 reusable light-up game pieces which allow for up to 10 traditional Capture the Flag players. It also includes 12 alternate ways to play, allowing for 4 to 20 players.
Starlux Games offers fun, engaging ways to play outside. Capture the Flag Redux is an interactive activity for birthday parties, family reunions, summer camp, or playtime with family and friends. Shop for Capture the Flag Redux on Amazon »
Why We Love This
Capture the Flag is a great way to practice strategy and teamwork with a night of interactive fun! The glow-in-the-dark accessories are a fun twist to the action. After all, who doesn’t like glow bracelets? Play this glowing game of stealth as a simple backyard game or as a complex mission in pitch dark. You can customize game rules to be engaging for younger kids, as well as teenagers and adults. Finally, Starlux Games Capture the Flag Redux encourages kids to get outside and burn energy while having fun with their friends or siblings. The whole family can enjoy competing to find the other team’s glowing orb and capture the “flag”.
Pete the Cat Board Game
Beat the heat with a family board game afternoon and play Pete the Cat. Young kids can work together to find the missing cupcakes and get them back from Grumpy Toad by completing different action tiles. Depending on the square they land on, players advance along the game board by singing songs, doing actions, and identifying their favorite animals, foods and words. This easy and fun Pete the Cat board game is designed for 2 to 4 players, ages 3 and up.
Why We Love This
Kids of all ages love playing board games, but many games are too hard for younger kids. Pete the Cat is a fun game for preschoolers. The game encourages kids to sing songs they’ve learned, share their favorite things and play simple charades. The stand-up character game pieces and 3D cupcakes are a creative tactile element to the game. The simple words on the game cards are also great practice for kids who are learning how to read.
Natural Sun Protection & Oral Care
Natural sun protection solutions and good hygiene are important summer habits to keep your family healthy. Our Top Product Family Awards highlight some helpful skin care and hygiene essentials for adults, kids and babies.
Kids Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
Family adventures abound in summer! It’s important to consider how you will protect your family’s skin from the sun. Kids can be especially sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. Kids Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40 by Earth Mama is a great way to soak up Vitamin D while shielding sensitive skin from UV damage. This creamy uber-sensitive mineral sunscreen lotion is formulate with calming Organic colloidal oatmeal and Organic shea butter. Non-nano zinc sits on top of the skin rather than being absorbed, so it can scatter sun rays. It’s non-irritating and gentle for sensitive skin, as well as reef-friendly and non-toxic. Shop for Earth Mama mineral sunscreen on Amazon »
Why We Love This
This gentle sunscreen scatters and reflects the sun’s rays without introducing your skin to unwanted chemicals. Earth Mama products are especially made for babies and kids but this natural sun protection can be used by everyone! Every day is a good day to apply sunscreen if you are outside for an extended period of time. The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin on overcast days as well as bright sunny days. We recommend applying sunscreen daily to prevent sunburns, skin dryness and wrinkles. This creamy Kids Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40 is a great solution for daily sun protection.
MAM Learn to Brush Toothbrush Set
Healthy tooth brushing habits can start at a young age! This MAM Learn to Brush set includes two brushes; a training toothbrush ideal for a child to practice brushing with their parents and a baby toothbrush for babies to try brushing independently. Each MAM toothbrush comes with a clip-on safety shield. The safety shield keeps babies safe by preventing the brush from reaching too far into baby’s mouth.These baby toothbrushes are available in blue, pink or green colors.
Why We Love This
These baby toothbrushes are a great first toothbrush to start teaching your child healthy hygiene habits. Kids love doing things themselves and this set empowers kids to learn how to brush their own teeth. The colorful bear design and chunky handle is easy for babies and toddlers to grip and the small brush fits perfectly into a small mouth. The MAM Learn to Brush toothbrush set is a great everyday family essential.
Award Winning Household Basics
Lullabuddy Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Lullabuddy Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a small cube speaker with a 60 minute timer to play long enough for baby to fall asleep. The Lullabuddy comes pre-loaded with two hours of Mae Robertson’s award-winning lullabies and soothing acoustic songs. The speaker has a play button, volume control and shuffle buttons to skip songs. It quickly charges with a mini USB cable that enables up to 18 hours of play. This speaker does not require streaming or connecting to play the pre-loaded music. It’s also Bluetooth enabled so you can play any music from your mobile device.
Shop for Lullabuddy on Amazon »
Why We Love This
Babies and young kids often need soothing sounds or soft music to calm down before bed and fall asleep. This portable speaker can be easily packed and taken everywhere you go. The small cube speaker design is very compact and the sound quality is great. Both babies and parents will love the soothing music that’s pre-loaded on the Lullabuddy Portable Bluetooth Speaker. We also appreciate the Bluetooth feature that allows you to stream your own songs.
Privacy Pop Bed Tents
Do your kids love making forts? Privacy Pop Bed Tents are an innovative way to get better sleep during naptime and bedtime. This bed tent fits on a standard bed frame, with the mattress fit snugly inside. Privacy Pop Bed Tents provide exclusive privacy and seclusion in uncomfortable sleeping quarters. You can create a sleep space anywhere or split large rooms such as dorms into private suites. You can also zip the bed tent windows and doors closed to reduce bright sunlight and make naptime easier. Kids can make a cozy bed fort which can help them feel safe and secure at night.
Why We Love This
Privacy Pop Bed Tents are such a cool way to create a cozy sleep space, as well as a relaxing haven in a bedroom. They are very easy to pop up and situate on a bed. The mattress slips inside the bed tent which keeps the tent securely in place. The roll-up window and door features allow for great airflow. The window has a screen zipper panel as well. You can also easily close up the tent’s zipper side door for more privacy. Privacy Pop Bed Tents are great for shared bedrooms and living spaces. These bed tents also provide a fun upgrade for a kid’s room, easily transforming a bed into a fort.
Innovative Toys for Kids
Kids may love the idea of no school during summer, but history shows that kids easily get bored without a routine. The flexibility of summer is a great opportunity to teach kids how to play independently and creatively. These award-winning toys are innovative and just simply awesome!
Modarri Cars & Racetrack
Do your kids love playing with cars? Take toy cars to the next level with a Modarri custom car building playset. Modarri cars captivate kids by offering tons of exciting play possibilities. Kids can design, build and drive their own creations in any way they want. The patented steering and suspension system allows every Modarri toy car to drive like the real thing! Just put your finger in the driver’s seat and take full control. Kids will enjoy hours of fun creating their own tracks, having races and driving over any terrain.
Why We Love This
We think the best toys for kids should inspire creativity and imaginative play. Modarri cars use innovative technology to bring back good old mechanical fun. Kids learn mechanical design skills by unscrewing the tiny screws (that won’t fall out) to swap car pieces and create their own car style. The ergonomic steering system allows kids to smoothly drive these cars along the road or track. The cars are well-made with tiny realistic details and colorful paint colors. Ultimately, Modarri cars are a timeless toy for kids who enjoy playing with toy cars.
Stomp Rocket Yard Game
Kids can always benefit from getting exercise out in the yard. The Stomp Rocket is a fun yard activity to play with alone or with a group of friends. Kids can take turns stomping on the air-powered stomp launcher to send foam-tipped rockets high into the air. These sets come with a launch pad and a variety of rocket designs. Stomp Rocket is an interactive STEM activity that inspires a love for science, technology, engineering and math. These core subjects help build kids’ futures in robotics, computers and natural sciences.
Why We Love This
Kids ages 3+ can figure out how to use a Stomp Rocket. We love that this toy encourages independent play while also helping kids to get some exercise as they jump to shoot the rocket and run after it. Kids can also have friendly competitions to see who can shoot the Stomp Rocket the highest. The best feature is that Stomp Rocket sets are entirely kid-powered and don’t require any batteries.
KidKraft Sparkle Mansion Dollhouse
This Sparkle Mansion Dollhouse is loaded with colorful artwork and fun details that young girls will love. Pretend play just got more fun, thanks to 30 pieces of detailed doll furniture, a gliding elevator, a backyard complete with a grill and a swimming pool, and 2 doors that open and close. This dollhouse is large enough for multiple children to play at once, perfect for sibling play time and play dates. It accommodates fashion dolls up to 12″ tall.
Shop for the KidKraft Sparkle Mansion Dollhouse on Amazon »
Why We Love This
This wooden dollhouse is great quality, beautifully detailed and sized perfectly for several children to play side-by-side. The elevator, spiral staircase and curved roof give the house an interesting design element. The dollhouse features many adorable wooden accents such as bedroom furniture, couches, bathroom fixtures, lamps, a tiny plant and a pool-side barbecue. The darling graphics on the walls bring personality to each room. We were also impressed with the affordable price of this Sparkle Mansion Dollhouse, at just around $100. This is a great gift idea for girls who love playing with Barbies and accessorizing their 12″ fashion dolls.
Dreamy Dancers Glitter Dance Shoes
Little dancers love to sparkle from head to toe! Dreamy Dancers fulfills this ambition with their line of glittery tap shoes, jazz shoes and ballet shoes. Available in standard sizes and several colors, these shoes sparkle and shine with every step! Dreamy Dancers shoes were created by a dance mom who set out to create glitter dance shoes that would inspire fancy little dancers. Each pair of dance shoes is handcrafted using high quality materials.
Why We Love These
We agree that dance shoes should be just as sparkly as the little girls wearing them. These glittery tap and ballet shoes are the perfect finishing touch for a dance outfit. They provide good foot support for little girls as they practice the intricate steps of ballet and tap dance. Besides being handmade and good quality, Dreamy Dancers shoes are guaranteed to shimmer under the spotlight!
Our Top Product Family Awards and summer essentials include a little bit of everything! Which award winning product would your family enjoy the most?
Welcome to Create. Play. Travel. We love sharing creative ideas, kid’s activities, DIY inspiration, beauty tips, fashion picks, family adventures, travel recommendations and more!
So many good choices! That dollhouse would be a dream for many for sure 🙂
Some great items featured here for the top product awards, we love playing board games and we are curious about Pete the Cat Board Game
These are all such great products!! I loved looking through them!
Those were a great lists of summer essentials. stomp rocket yard game is what we really needed at home for my kids.
Lots of cool toys and suggestions here for the summer! Thanks for sharing!
Really cool variety of products here! Actually just played a variant of capture the flag yesterday with my little brother so that glow in the dark version sounds cool.
The privacy pop beds look like so much fun and for some reason make me want to go camping! Thanks for sharing -Sondra Barker @cuisineandtravel.com
I love these ideas, the Capture the Flag Games sounds like a lot of fun and I am sure my kids will really enjoy playing with it.
This is such a cute idea! The Stomp Rocket Game and Capture the Flag Game both look like a lot of fun.
I have never seen the pop bed tents before and now I want one for the kids. And theSparkle Mansion Doll House from Kid Kraft I want to buy my niece for her birthday.
my kids would have been all over these activities when they were younger! I can’t wait for grandkids to start “playing” all over again!
yessss!!! you’ve included all the summer essentials which is amazing! Although i don’t know a lot of these brands, the products are great.
I love all your reviews on these products. The games sound like so much fun for the kids.
Wow! That Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag Game looks like so much fun! Thank you for sharing these summer essentials with us.
Sunscreen is very important and should not forget to apply when we go outdoor, be in summer or any season. Especially for baby and toddler. I still think we need to be disciplined.
Those bed tents are ADORABLE!
What a good idea for kids to feel cozy 🙂